(Edited Tattersalls release)
Three new Tattersalls-sponsored sales races, restricted to graduates of the 2007 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale (Book One) and carrying a combined minimum total prize fund of £2.2 million, are to be staged at England's Newmarket racecourse starting in 2008/2009.
The three new races will be known collectively as the ‘Tattersalls Millions’ and look set to be the most valuable sales race series in the world.
Top billing goes to a £1-million race for 2-year-old colts, geldings and fillies over seven furlongs, closely followed by an £800,000-race for 2-year-old fillies only, also over seven furlongs. Both will be run for the first time at the Cambridgeshire Meeting in October of next year, each with a maximum field of 30 horses. The £1-million race will be named the ‘Tattersalls Million’ and the fillies’ race the ‘Tattersalls Fillies’ 800’.
The third race will be the first sales race ever run in Britain for 3-year-olds. Worth £400,000 and run over 10 furlongs, the ‘Tattersalls £400,000 3YO Classic’ will be staged for the first time at the Craven Meeting in April 2009 and will be the richest 3-year-old race in Britain outside the Classics.
Any horse left in the 2-year-old races after the first forfeit will be automatically eligible to run in the 3-year-old race the following year at no additional cost.
Tattersalls Chairman Edmond Mahony said: “Tattersalls has staged sales races at Newmarket since 1990 but these three new races -- the ‘Tattersalls Millions’ -- will raise the bar to unprecedented heights. Prize money is the lifeblood of racing and in association with Newmarket Racecourses, our October Yearling Sale vendors and of course the owners, we are delighted to be staging the two most valuable 2-year-old races ever run in Britain, as well as breaking new ground with the unique ‘Tattersalls £400,000 3YO Classic’.
Michael Prosser, Newmarket Racecourses’ director of racing, said: “This is fantastic news for Newmarket and will take the overall value of next year’s Cambridgeshire Meeting to nigh on £3 million. If we run both races on the same day, it will create the richest day’s racing in Europe. With three group I races at this meeting - the Shadwell Middle Park Stakes, the Cheveley Park Stakes and the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes - plus the Totesport Cambridgeshire Handicap, the addition of these two new races in 2008 will make it a sensational three days and even more of a ‘must’ for flat racing enthusiasts. The 3-year-old race will be a fascinating addition to the Craven Meeting and to Britain’s spring flat racing programme as a whole, offering a hugely valuable early-season prize for Tattersalls October Yearling Sale graduates in their classic year.”
Newmarket-based trainer William Haggas said: “£2.2 million of new prize money spread over three races is great news for owners and I would like to congratulate both Tattersalls and Newmarket Racecourses on this new initiative. I am already looking forward to the 2007 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.”
Highclere Thoroughbred Racing supremo Harry Herbert said: “sales races have always been a major attraction when we are looking to find new owners for the Highclere syndicates and the ‘Tattersalls Millions’ will without doubt prove to be a huge selling point. We had a fantastic day when Tamarisk won the 1997 Tattersalls Houghton Sales Stakes and, with three races to aim at in the ‘Tattersalls Millions’, we will have an even better chance of repeating that success.”
Leading yearling consignor Simon Marsh of Watership Down Stud commented: “The ‘Tattersalls Millions’ will provide wonderful incentives for owners at all levels of the market and the ‘Tattersalls £400,000 3YO Classic’ is a particularly exciting innovation. It adds a new dimension to the Sales Race concept allowing the later maturing horses to have a shot at the massive prize money as well as the more precocious types.”
Book 1 of the 2007 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale will take place Oct. 9-12 and is expected to number approximately 750 yearlings.